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Government Announces Immediate Withdrawal of New Zealand High Commissioner
19 July 2000
Tia Barrett, New Zealand's High Commissioner to Fiji will be withdrawn with immediate effect, Foreign Minister Phil Goff said this evening.
"Yesterday Cabinet had an extensive discussion on the range of measures that could be introduced depending on the make-up of the new Government."
While the balance of the new Cabinet is towards those with a moderate rather than extremist position, we deplore the presence of sympathisers of Fijian coup leader George Speight in the ministerial line-up. Both the Prime Minister and I obviously regard their inclusion as unacceptable.
"The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and I have agreed to recall the High Commissioner, Tia Barrett, for consultations as soon as his departure can be arranged. "Cabinet ministers will consider tomorrow morning whether further actions will be implemented at this point.
"Given the mixed composition of the new Cabinet we will be seeking from the administration a clear indication of what commitment it has to restoring a democratic government and a non-racist constitution.